Piaya Network Negros International Open has taken place from October 11 to 19 in Bacolod City, Phillippines. The tournament was a 9 round Swiss open, played at 90 minutes for the whole game plus 30-second increment. English Grandmaster Nigel Short seized the first place; whereas, Chennai’s GM Srinath Narayanan, the lone Indian in the tournament, settled for the 4th spot.
GM Srinath was among the four grandmasters who was trailing behind the tournament leader Antonio Rogelio Jr at the end of 4th round. After series of draws, Srinath was able to squeeze a victory in the penultimate round which enabled him to contend for the first place. However, an uphill task was ahead of him, he was paired against English chess legend Nigel Short in the final round. Nigel’s vast experience thwarted all attempts to seal a victory, and soon Srinath succumbed to a loss.
Speaking about his performance in the second-half of the tournament, “I played some very interesting games in rounds 5-9, against 5 Grand Masters. I struggled in the first two games and was completely losing against Antonio Regelio jr. I salvaged a draw by sheer good fortune. After taking a timeout in round 7, with a quick draw, I finally hit my feet running for the last two games. In the 8th round, I outplayed the third-seeded GM Tran Tuan Minh convincingly.” said GM Srinath.
He further elaborated on his final round encounter, “In a must-win situation against GM Nigel Short, I went all in and had a strategic advantage in the middlegame. I managed to contain the counter play on the queenside with a pawn sacrifice and the kingside seemed mine for the taking. However, when we got to around less than 3 minutes each, Short upped the ante, typical of all champions. I couldn’t cope up with the sudden change and collapsed completely. In the end, he played the better chess where it mattered and won the tournament deservedly. It was a good learning experience but I hope to do better in such crunch moments in the future.”
Final Ranking after 9 Rounds
|1||1||GM||SHORT Nigel D||ENG||2698||8,0||0,0||45,5||36,0||8|
|2||2||GM||GRIGORYAN Karen H.||ARM||2586||7,0||1,0||48,0||37,0||9|
|3||5||GM||NGUYEN Duc Hoa||VIE||2499||7,0||0,0||49,5||38,0||8|
|5||9||GM||ANTONIO Rogelio Jr||PHI||2365||6,0||0,0||51,5||40,0||9|
|6||11||IM||TRAN Minh Thang||VIE||2352||6,0||0,0||47,5||36,0||9|
|7||10||IM||YAP Kim Steven||PHI||2361||6,0||0,0||43,0||31,0||7|
|12||3||GM||TRAN Tuan Minh||VIE||2558||5,5||0,0||42,0||32,5||9|
|13||16||MONTOYO Ted Ian||PHI||2297||5,5||0,0||42,0||32,0||7|
|15||28||VERDUN Xavier John||PHI||2147||5,5||0,0||39,0||31,0||7|